Milton Katselas Pleads With Scientology After Grant Cardone's Attack: A Church Jihad?

Categories: Scientology

MiltonKatselas.jpg
Milton Katselas, 1933-2008
On Monday, we told you about Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King" whose new reality television show about rescuing ailing small businesses premiered Sunday night.

What the show didn't say was that Cardone is a wealthy and high-level Scientologist with cozy ties to Scientology leader David Miscavige. In 2007, Cardone sent an e-mail to fellow Scientologists attacking Milton Katselas, a well known and admired acting coach who had, in the view of the church, not kept up his duties as a compliant Scientologist.

Now we have more detail about that, with an additional letter that Cardone sent directly to Katselas, the acting teacher's reply to Scientology, and also Cardone's public responses since we outed him as someone willing to do Scientology's dirty work.

After our story ran Monday, we were contacted by Allen Barton, owner of the Beverly Hills Playhouse, who has a 20 year history there and worked closely with Milton Katselas.

Barton himself was a Scientologist for a time, but hasn't been involved for many years (despite what a New York Times story about Katselas said about Barton).

AllenBarton.jpg
Allen Barton
Over the years, Barton says, actors did come in contact with Scientology when they studied with Katselas, but that wasn't the point of what the great teacher was doing. "There was a time when people would come to the school, find out about Scientology, and become interested," Barton says. "But Milton never proselytized in class. Never. And he never gave a shit. He was interested in acting."

Although Katselas had been involved with Scientology since 1965, Barton says the ties between the Beverly Hills Playhouse and Scientology reached a sort of peak in 1999. "When Jenna Elfman won a Golden Globe, that was the height of that connection, between Milton and successful Scientology actors. Jeffrey Tambor was nominated for an Emmy. Catherine Bell was on a series. Giovanni Ribisi was becoming successful...Jenna did a big public relations spread where she had a photo taken with him."

But soon after that period, Barton says, there came a "disaffection." Katselas had been stuck on OT V, three levels under the highest of upper-level training in the church, and he didn't seem interested in pursuing that any further. He had stopped going to events. And, Barton says, Milton was a single, straight male. "He had female students who were interested in him. He didn't always refuse it. I'm not saying it was a good thing, but there it is."

Around 2003 or 2004, Barton says, "there came what I call this 'jihad' about Milton."

That's consistent with what Marty Rathbun wrote on his blog Monday -- that about that time, he was asked by Scientology leader David Miscavige to begin pressuring Katselas to get back on the straight-and-narrow path of Scientology development.

"It was a jihadist puritanical path," Barton says. "They were pressuring him. Was he really on board with the church, with Miscavige. All of this stuff that Grant Cardone put out in his e-mail."

"The Elfmans cut ties in 2004. Suddenly some trigger went off. This man must be stopped. I took a phone call from Bodhi Elfman screaming about Milton. Between 2004 and 2007, pretty much every Scientologist left at that point."

On May 15, 2007, Cardone, taking on the role of church enforcer, sent out an e-mail to hundreds of fellow Scientologists. Someone, he can't remember who, passed on a copy to him, Barton says.

"Holy cow. I can't remember if I even showed Milton. Milton didn't use computers. I'm sure someone showed it to him. His reaction was always measured. By that time he had become resigned to the jihadist mentality that had taken over Scientology.

GrantCardone.jpg
Cardone
"To the end, he was loyal to Hubbard, and held that relationship in high regard. He never said anything negative about Hubbard. He would say things like, 'If Ron was still around, none of this would be happening.'"

Barton says that until Katselas' death in 2008, he was receiving some Scientology services, despite the church's approbation.

After Katselas died of heart failure, Barton was the one who cleaned out the acting teacher's office, finding various documents pertaining to the church.

At my request, Barton went through his papers and located two fascinating, and heartbreaking documents.

The first is a letter that Grant Cardone sent directly to Katelas himself. Besides sending out an e-mail to hundreds of Scientologists that was meant to ruin Katselas's reputation in the church, Cardone sent a copy directly to the teacher with an additional note.

[See the Cardone letter as a .pdf file. It includes the e-mail he sent out to fellow scientologists. Click the link on the window that appears.]

Cardone's letter includes chilling lines like this:

You have to be blind not to see the effect these actions had on your school's statistics, with so many "faithful" leaving you. If you ever feel the group of people you once had influence with are shunning you, I'm your man. You know the saying: "SNIPER ON THE ROOF?"

Rather than answer Cardone, Katselas chose to respond to the church that he had been a part of for so long.

[See Katselas's letter to Scientology]

Katselas attached Cardone's "Knowledge Report" (KR) and asked that it be "withdrawn." He explains that he is still trying to advance in his Scientology training. And he objects to the accusations about him without any kind of evidence.

I have never met Grant Cardone, and to my knowledge he has never been to a class at the Beverly Hills Playhouse; therefore the data that he must be operating on is second-hand. Additionally, because Cardone offers so many generalized negative statements about me, these then act as 3rd party on a Scientologist who is in good standing, which I am. This in itself is a Crime.

The 73-year-old man asks the church to withdraw Cardone's vicious Knowledge Report. A year later, he was dead.

We contacted Cardone Monday through his assistant, Jen Harris. He has not responded to our request for an interview.

However, Cardone has reacted to our story. On his Facebook page, he dismissed "haters" and provided a link to the following image:

CardoneResponse.jpg

That's some turnaround.


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO

Click here to see all recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?


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34 comments
Socalsoleil
Socalsoleil

Grant Cardone seems to have no compassion in his heart at all. I was following him on twitter, admiring his motivational messages until he started criticizing the Occupy movement. So standing up for yourself against predatory banks and demanding that corporations quit buying politicians/legislation makes you lazy? It takes hard work to fix things, Grant Cardone, and little to no effort to vilify people who stand up for what they believe in!

Sunbeam
Sunbeam

Isnt that David Miscavige in the "Ding Dong" picture?

deanfox
deanfox

I wondered that but on closer examination I think the figure is an inch ot two taller. Hard to say really.

Mike
Mike

"...Milton was about acting...he never gave a shit..."  Exactly.  Anyone who knows Katselas knows that!  The Cardone KR was just a fly he swatted away.

Kathy McBride
Kathy McBride

Yeah, Tony, 'bring it on! '  ( Like you weren't already, lol! )

I am happy to see the Katselas story getting told and that you interviewed Allen Barton to make this happen. I give him a lot of credit for helping Katselas keep the Beverly Hills Playhouse in one piece during the attacks.

The Elfman's were pretty outrageous during the time they sabotaged the place on Cardone's behalf. There's more to that story from what I have been told but I will let those who were in the firing line tell their version. 

I also feel that the only reason Milton went back to getting 'services' was because of the pressure he was under. Lota good it did him. He died before his time like so many 'OTs' do. 

Vontaz
Vontaz

Huh? The "jihadist mentality" only began under Miscavige? Really? Wow! I really must be an "SP" (Suppressive Person), because, to me, it seems as though it started in the 1960s.

Sid
Sid

 That's an outrageous allegation.

It started in the 1950s.

Pop quiz:-

a) When was "Sec Checking" introduced?

b) Who wrote this, and when? "You must work until "religion" is synonymous with "insanity." You must work until the officials of city, county and state governments will not think twice before they pounce upon religious groups as public enemies"

c) When did Hubbard make this claim? "Leukaemia is evidently psychosomatic in origin and at least eight cases of leukaemia had been treated successfully with Dianetics after medicine had traditionally [sic] given up. The source of leukaemia has been reported to be an engram containing the phrase 'It turns my blood to water.' "

d) Declaring recent "apostates" as SPs is a CoS standard ploy. How many former associates did Hubbard report as communists in a letter to the FBI in 1950?

e) The Los Angeles Examiner carried a front page headline on April 24th 1951 alleging Hubbard had tortured someone based on the contents of a divorce suit - who?

a - 1959

b - Hubbard, c1953

c) c1953

d) 16, including his wife.

e) Sara, Hubbard's 2nd wife - "Hubbard systematically prevented plaintiff from sleeping continuously for a period of over four days, and then in her agony, furnished her with a supply of sleeping pills, all resulting in a nearness to the shadow of death . . . plaintiff became numb and lost consciousness, and was thereafter taken by said Hubbard to the Hollywood Leland Hospital, where she was kept under a vigilant guard from friend and family, under an assumed name for five days."

Vontaz
Vontaz

Calm down.

We agree. "Dispose of quietly and without sorrow" was from 1951. "Ruin utterly from 1955, etc. I know, I know. :)

Karen#1
Karen#1

Knowledge Reports and the RTC

The Religious Technology Center (RTC)  were given Police Powers, inflicting penalties, demotions and general invalidation and denigration on  all staff with a cruelty that often bordered on sadism.  (Instant Rehabilitation Project  Force  the "RPF"~~ the gulag of heavy manual labor where you are cut off from civilization, even other Sea Org members for YEARS)  Giddy with their new  found power over the lives of Sea Org members, the RTC paraded around in stern black uniforms and were taught to have a mood of "Cold Chrome Steel".  Read Scientology-cult.com for  reports of escaped RTC members who report this further.

You could almost state that their previous incarnation was ” GESTAPO (Nazi Secret Police).  In a policy letter of the  the 22nd of July 1982 the RTC made it a "crime" (written largely composed by RTC staff), for any staff or public not to become a dedicated and ruthless informant.   This was to be a "Knowledge Report" to the RTC.   Husbands were to report on wives and vice versa,  children  were to report on their parents, parents on their own kids,  the public on staff, staff on public, everyone was to rat on everyone else to RTC.

+++++Then they went even further.  You were an  “accessory to the crime” for the slightest failure to report  acts of commissions+++++Then they went further  You were to "Knowledge  report"  acts of   omissions as well +++++Then they went further  mere suspicions of  commissions or omissions.  Negative thoughts on management.  Anything that did not toe the party line was to be Knowledge Reported to RTC in private secretive write up.

++++Then they went further,  the RTC  Policy went further by ordering identical penalties be applied to both the offender and anyone who had “failed to report” him..

++++Draconian penalties and punishments without due hearings could be implemented by the Church's own GESTAPO  ~~ David Miscagive's henchmen.

Anon
Anon

Good on you Allen Barton for saving and providing the additional material for this very interesting story. Cardone is such a tool. And like many 'celebrity' scientologists has an arrogance that is so very difficult to watch. Oh well, he'll figure out he's in a cult when the scientologists finally get his last dime. Keep donating there Grant, don't forget KSW. "Ding dong bring it on" indeed. Throw him on the heap of irrelevance with Alley and Cruise.

candace6
candace6

Cardone is just a disgusting human being, period.  A bully and a thug who tried to destroy an old man who had done absolutely nothing to deserve it.  Now the coward doesn't even have the balls to respond to this story.  "Bring it on" indeed.  Asshole.

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

I love that Cardone misspells "masturbation" in the KR.  Unless... maybe masterbation (his spelling) is the act of getting your rocks off while bullying someone into submission.  In which case, he would seem to be the master.

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

Scientologists are notoriously bad at spelling and grammar.

A last thought, for now. To join the church of scientology to help you become successful differs from selling your soul to the Devil in that the church of scientology is real as is the price you pay.

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

So Cardone decided to disrespect Milton at the bequest of the leader of the church of scientology because Milton had lost interest in paying more money to the church of scientology. That is disgraceful.

The church of scientology likes to give the impression that it makes people successful but this is not the case. Some people are naturally talented or just become successful and the Church of Scientology covets them, which is why David Miscavige was so keen to get Milton back in to the fold.

At best the church of scientology encourages successful people to act like a**holes for the church of scientology and worst it makes people dependant on the church of scientology, as it did with Milton since much of his business was via them and drains people and even actively seeks to destroy them, as Caldone's letter shows.

This incident alone shows the church of scientology is a dangerous, corrupt and corrupting organisation.

mjm
mjm

sooo, Katselas was murdered by the Scilon hit men?

just like Miscavige's mother, Isaac Hayes, Lisa Mcpherson, Ronnie Chasen...

MarkStark
MarkStark

Although Jenna Elfman is a probably a fully trained Scientology OTVIII Imperial Grand Ninja Assassin Wizard Meritorious, I don't think she'd do anything to Katselas, until he made a sizable "amends" donation to the Super Power project.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

The definition of a *_Knowledge_* Report (KR) is that it's based on one's "_knowledge_."

The writer of an on-policy KR does not allege knowledge based on what one has heard, imagines, thinks up, suspects, opines, or fabricates. If Cardone wrote such a report as you allege--and, suspiciously, its link above is now dead-- he was quite ignorant of the purpose of such a report, which is to avoid and correct problems. 

Any staff member receiving such a crappy Knowledge Report would be obliged to file it. But all who later read it would instantly--unlike blog readers--see it as unspecific, undocumented, unsupported, and without value.

Guest
Guest

^^Bill Yaude?

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

The knowledge report is a tool used to keep scientologists from getting out of line and suppressing criticism from within. A KR is used to report any perceived infraction of church of scientology policy and all subscribers to the cult of scientology are encouraged to use it lest it be used on them.

It seems Miltons only "crime" was to stop being interested in the church of scientology and his punishment was the wilful smearing of his character and the encouragement of other scientologists to disavow themselves from him. Since his business was highly subscribed by church of scientology members, doubtless because this was encouraged when he was in good graces, this had a massive impact on him personally and professionally; suddenly students and friends were ignoring him simply because he'd decided he no longer wished to subscribe to the church of scientology.

This is a warning to anyone thinking of becoming involved with the church of scientology in the belief that it can help them succeed; at can but at a very high cost and that is total dependence on the church of scientology and regular donations for their patronage.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

I have socks smarter than you. 

And pets more honest. 

deanfox
deanfox

I 'm as comfortble now as i was, which is very comfortable.

As to the accusation you walked in to it by saying you had socks more intelligent than me, this just lent itself to comment I made.

Any how intelligence is subjective and while I don't claim superior intellect I know far more about the church of scientology and how it works than you.

I know how the belief system is hierarchical, how it evolves as u pay to learn more. I know the mind games and how they work within the church of scientology and I know what's on the other side of the bridge and how to really get there. ;-) u read "source" I deconstruct it.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

It sure does make you lot comfortable to accuse that.

I don't think using sock puppets is sporting so don't do it.

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

I'm thinking you certainly do have socks, probably quite a few. I on the other hand do not, but then I'm not talking about the foot apparel.

Pets I find to be always more honest than humans.

SFF
SFF

The KR is in the first link, after the letter to Katselas. It may indeed have been ignored by others but it still reflects poorly on Cardone and anyone who put him up to such activity.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

Nice speculation.

No one but Tortega is hinting anyone put him up to this.

Looks to me like Cardone's own restim and brain-fart.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Scientologists = freak circus.  So much like the E. German Stasi with their Out-2D and "Knowledge Reports." See the movie The Lives of Others.

What a relief that Katselas never had an unkind thought about Hubbard. He won't have to be posthumously RPF'd and probably won't even lose his place at the implant station on Mars.

Arielle
Arielle

What an a**hole this Cardone is. Just the mere tone of his letter is disgusting.

Mike
Mike

As a Scientologist I find this comment rather ironic!

Mark Miglio
Mark Miglio

Arielle--- Katselas may have once been "a Scientologist who is in good standing", but apparently he wasn't in good standing during his latter years.

Guest
Guest

 Thanks Terryeo for confirming that that important people like Katselas can't just walk away without being demonized, even if they didn't start badmouthing. What a lovely organization.

Mark Miglio
Mark Miglio

Apparently, you are living in some make believe world, Guest ---- of course someone is going to bad mouth someone under certain circumstances.

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